Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Judging Others

Don't judge other people more harshly than you want God to judge you. -- Marie T Freeman

I love to 'people watch'. I like to sit in an out-of-the-way spot, either in a park, the beach, or in a shopping mall. I enjoy simply watching people walk by.

I may wonder if they are married, and if so, are they happy? I like to imagine each person's profession, their hobbies, or, if their faces are wearing frowns, I may envision the circumstances in their lives which cause them.

But I find I mostly wonder about their spiritual condition. Some people wear Jesus on their physical bodies so that there is no doubt. Others are more secretive with this info, so that I really have no idea at all. But then there are others whose rage and dissatisfaction with life is very evident on their faces.

I have to draw the line when I am watching people, because I could very easily begin to judge them. And I know from experience that first impressions can indeed be misleading. For instance, I know full well that some days I tend to frown. I have often been asked what's wrong. In fact, I realize now that I frown when I am deep in thought, even if it is about a good thing. My frown is an automatic stance my face takes when I am focusing on something. But it does not mean I am upset or angry.

Some people smile all the time. And often it is not from joy, but from covering up issues in their lives. I have been guilty of this as well. And that look of rage I sometimes see? Could just be because the person is late for an appointment, or may just be having a rough day.

We must be careful not to allow observing people to become judging them. We never completely know the circumstances in another person's life. It is very easy to misread, or to be misread. God is the only One who knows full well what is going on, and what a person's spiritual life consists of.

Our job is to be sensitive to the people we come in contact with daily. Yes, even those closest to us. So if a kind word or deed is required, or even a quick hug, we are at the ready. We may need to pray with or for someone. We may simply need to listen. But we must never judge.

Matthew 7:1 tells us, 'Judge not, that ye be not judged.' We must not judge others, because God holds us accountable for this. It is not our place, and can cause great harm. We are to show love to others, not judgement. This is the work of our holy God, not His children.


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